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Christmas storm blows powerful winds, warmer temperatures into Southcentral Alaska

Ben Anderson
Katie Medred

Folks who've been dreaming for a white Christmas may be in luck: Southcentral Alaska may see snow accumulation on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. But for the Interior, Southeast and much of the rest of the state, it's a mixed bag with only a slight chance of some of the white stuff in time to unwrap the presents under the tree come Christmas morning.

Southcentral is expected to see snow on Monday and continuing into Tuesday, including a continued blizzard warning expected to last into Monday night in Prince William Sound and the eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula. In Anchorage and surrounds, snow is also expected, but coming along with it will be some gusty winds, predicted to blow at up to 30 mph in the higher elevations on Christmas day.

Winds are also the name of the game for much of the rest of the state. The Matanuska-Susitna Valleys have been getting pummeled by high winds for several weeks now, and it looks to continue for at least a couple more days. In the Matanuska Valley, gusts could get up to 55 mph. It's milder in Southeast, where winds are expected to hover around 25 mph in several portions of the panhandle.

The region may be dodging the worst of it, though -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Prediction Center is calling for gale-force winds and rough seas in many of the waters in the Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Alaska.

Winds in the eastern Interior portions of the state have called for a wind chill warning to be issued by the NWS, which is predicting temperatures as low as 50-below with wind chill. The rest of the Interior remains chilly, but it's better than the 30- to 40-below temperatures the region has endured in recent weeks.

In much of the rest of the state, light to moderate winds are expected to blow snow flurries around, with temperatures hovering on both sides of zero.

In all, Christmas day might present a respite from the biting cold that's hung over a good portion of the state in recent weeks, which means some Alaskans will finally be able to turn down the thermometer and save some money on heating fuel, firewood and natural gas. 

And what better Christmas present than that?

Check out the Christmas day forecast in your area at the National Weather Service page for Alaska.